Tag Archives: Energy Efficiency

Efficiency: Toward Net-Zero Energy (VoiceThread Presentation)

Green Building

Efficiency: Toward Net-Zero Energy (VoiceThread Presentation)

  Four years ago, I co-authored a white paper with my colleague Nick Worden at Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf (BDMD) Architects and William Brown, currently the Director of Sustainability at Indiana University. The white paper was published at 2010 International High Performance Buildings Conference at Purdue University and it presented a full-year of energy consumption and on-site renewable energy production data for the Chrisney Library (a branch of the Lincoln Heritage Public Library), verifying the project as the first non-residential net-zero (site) energy facility in Indiana….

Read More

Passive Agressive

Green Building

Passive Agressive

It’s been 40 years since the 1973 Oil Crisis thrust the United States to the forefront of passive solar heating. But have technologically advanced building systems rendered passive strategies obsolete? Originally published in the August 2013 issue of Environmental Design + Construction (EDC) magazine. LEED v4 for Homes contains a three-point credit for optimizing a building’s orientation for passive solar heating. Details of the credit are specific to managing the amount, shading and orientation of south-facing glass. These are sound….

Read More

Benchmarking Emerges

Green Building

Benchmarking Emerges

As energy and water performance mandates are adopted in cities, concerned suburban and rural communities can progress benchmarking at the grassroots level. Originally published in the March 2013 issue of Environmental Design + Construction (EDC) magazine. On September 4, 2012, New York City publicly posted the 2011 energy and water benchmarking results for more than 2,000 nonresidential properties covered under the benchmarking ordinance (Local Law 84), making it the first major city in the U.S. to release this kind of information. Closely….

Read More

Federal Government Ratchets Up Incandescent Lamp Phase Out

Green Building

Federal Government Ratchets Up Incandescent Lamp Phase Out

As the calendar turned to 2013, questions have emerged regarding the federal government ratcheting up the phase out of the incandescent lamp. Misconceptions and myth abound. Below is a summary of the facts. What Does the Law Actually Say? The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) was signed into law by President George W. Bush on December 19, 2007. Section 321. Efficient Light Bulbs established lighting energy efficiency for a ‘general service incandescent lamp.’ This term is used to….

Read More

In Order to Become Leaders in Energy Modeling, Architects Need to be Building Science Experts

Green Building

In Order to Become Leaders in Energy Modeling, Architects Need to be Building Science Experts

In a marketplace increasingly attuned to high-performance strategies, design teams and clients alike are becoming ever savvier with regard to building science. Consequently, there is a growing expectation that architects exhibit the tools and technical knowledge to go beyond design rules-of-thumb and actually test conceptual notions, compare the performance design options, and refine chosen strategies. This can be accomplished through schematic-level energy modeling. This kind of energy modeling is simplified through basic forms, generalizations, and gross approximations, which makes it….

Read More

Diminishing Return on Investment for Increasing R-Values

Green Building

Diminishing Return on Investment for Increasing R-Values

More Insulation Might Not Be the Best Solution for Your Clients Have you ever looked up the minimum R-value requirements in a referenced energy code or standard for high-performance building and thought the requirements seemed a bit low? Take ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2007 as an example. This is the referenced energy standard for LEED-NC v2009. For a project in Indianapolis, which falls in Climate Zone 5A, a nonresidential, low-sloped roof assembly exhibiting insulation entirely above deck is only required to have….

Read More

Megawatt, Gigawatt, Watt is What?

Green Building

Megawatt, Gigawatt, Watt is What?

The Aldo Leopold Nature Center in Baraboo, WI The LEED Platinum facility features a 39.6 kilowatt (kW) solar electric (photovoltaic) system on its roof, the second largest in Wisconsin. Image property of Daniel Overbey There have been a flurry of headlines lately announcing large-scale renewable energy plans. Here are just a few of the recent news clips: Fast-Track Solar Development Zones Identified: The U.S. Department of the Interior has published a “Solar Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement,” which, among other items,….

Read More

‘Hypermiling’ for Housing

Green Building

‘Hypermiling’ for Housing

‘Hypermiling’ for Housing: How home energy monitors will liberate an energy-conscious consumer base. By Daniel Overbey A 1996 Civic DX Sedan is not usually considered to be a preeminent fuel-efficient vehicle. Try telling that to Darin Cosgrove of Brockville, Ontario. He’s the cofounder of an online forum, EcoModer.com, chalk full of stories where consumers have taken vehicles like the Civic DX Sedan and increased their fuel efficiency by more than 100 percent over the EPA’s “combined” fuel economy rating. Cosgrove himself….

Read More

Water: The Ideal Thermal Mass

Green Building

Water: The Ideal Thermal Mass

What if I told you that I knew about a building product that: Has three times the thermal storage capacity of concrete. Has only half the weight of brick. Is completely non-toxic. Is completely transparent. Is inherently fire-resistant. Is abundantly available in the U.S. at virtually zero cost (at least for the time being). That’s right. I’m talking about water. The nectar of life. Throughout the history of passive solar heating, there are many accounts of innovative thinkers using water as a thermal….

Read More

When Does the 2010 Indiana Energy Conservation Code Not Apply?

Green Building

When Does the 2010 Indiana Energy Conservation Code Not Apply?

It has been just over two years since Indiana adopted its new energy code, the 2010 Indiana Energy Conservation Code (IECC). During that time, a lot of rumors, inaccuracies, and confusion have emerged regarding the application of the code. The following is an attempt to clarify the issue using primary source materials. . In a nutshell: The 2012 IECC is mandatory statewide for Class 1 structures (commercial buildings and residential buildings with three or more dwelling units). For a definition of….

Read More